Presentation on theme: "Crucial Conversations"— Presentation transcript:
1 Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes are HighPresented by Adena FritzJune 9, 2009NPMA Harbour Lights Chapter
2 About the Book New York Times Best Seller Authors: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al SwitzerPaperback, 230 pages$16.95 at BordersInformation available online at
3 What is a Crucial Conversation? A Crucial Conversation is a discussion between two or more people where:Stakes are high,Opinions vary, andEmotions run strong.
4 Some Examples Talking to a coworker who behaves offensively Giving the boss feedback about his/her behaviorCritiquing a colleague’s workTalking to a team member who is not keeping commitmentsGiving an unfavorable performance reviewTalking to a coworker about a personal hygiene problem
5 Three OptionsWhen faced with a Crucial Conversation you can do one of three things:Avoid itFace it and handle it poorlyFace it and handle it well
6 Reasons We Handle Them Poorly We are designed wrongWe are under pressure (with a barely functioning brain)Caught off guard, we improviseWe act in self-defeating ways and make things worse!
7 Reasons to Learn to Handle Them Well Improve your careerImprove your organizationImprove your relationshipsImprove your personal healthRevitalize your community
8 Tool: Stay in Dialogue What it is: What it is not: pool of shared The free flow of meaning between two or more peopleWhat it is not:Debate or argument, trying to “win”Hints, sarcasm, innuendo, verbal attacks, accusationsGiving the silent treatment, running awayPlaying gamespool ofsharedmeaning
9 How to Stay in Dialogue“Start With the Heart” - begin with the right motivesStay focused on your goal no matter whatIf you fall out of dialogue ask:What do I want for myself?What do I want for others?What do I want for the relationship?How would I behave if I really wanted these things?
10 Tool: Make it Safe Establish and maintain mutual purpose and respect Do others believe you care about their goals?Do they trust your motives?Do others believe you respect them?
11 When Safety is at Risk Tools Apologize (when appropriate and sincere) When mutual purpose and or respect are at risk, it is no longer “safe” and you are no longer in dialogue!ToolsApologize (when appropriate and sincere)Contrast to fix misunderstandings
12 Tool: Use Contrasting A don’t/do statement that: Is not apologizing Addresses others’ concerns that you don’t respect them or that you have a malicious purposeConfirms your respect or clarifies your real purposeIs not apologizingProvides context and proportionUseful for prevention or first aid
13 Contrasting Role Plays Given a scenario, respond with a contrasting statement that:Addresses the other’s conclusion that you don’t respect them or that you have a malicious purpose (the don’t part)Confirms your respect or clarifies your real purpose (the do part)
14 Tool: Master Your Stories Offensive claim Others don’t make you mad – YOU make you mad!!How? In between a persons action and our reaction, we tell ourselves a storyStories:Our interpretation of the factsHelp us answer why and how and what
15 Path To Action SEE / HEAR TELL A STORY FEEL ACT Coworker meets privately with the boss to discuss a joint project.He does not trust me. He thinks I’m weak. If I say anything I will look emotional.HurtWorriedSilenceCheap shots
16 Retrace Your Path SEE / HEAR TELL A STORY FEEL ACT What factual evidence do I have that supports this story?What story is creating these emotions?What emotions are making me react this way?Have I fallen out of dialogue?
17 Clever Stories To Watch For Victim StoriesVillain StoriesHelpless Stories
18 Tell the Whole Story Turn victims into actors Am I pretending not to notice my role in the problem?Turn villains into humansWhy would a reasonable, rational and decent person do what this person is doing?Turn the helpless into the ableWhat do I really want for me? For others? For the relationship? What would I do right now if I really wanted these results?
19 Tool: STATE Your PathWhen you need to share controversial, touchy or unpopular views:Share your factsTell your storyAsk for other’s pathsTalk TentativelyEncourage Testing
20 Tool: STATE Your Path Share your facts first Non-controversial PersuasiveLeast insulting
21 Tool: STATE Your Path Tell your story “Based on the facts, I am beginning to conclude…”Be confident, but don’t pile onWatch for safety problems
22 Tool: STATE Your Path Ask for other’s paths What are their facts? What is their story?
23 Tool: STATE Your Path Talk Tentatively I was wondering… Perhaps you were unaware… In my opinion…Don’t be wimpy and do the message a disservice
24 Tool: STATE Your Path Encourage Testing Encourage others to challenge youInvite opposing views“Does anyone see it differently?”“What am I missing here?”Play Devil’s Advocate“What if I’m wrong here…?”
25 STATE Role Plays Share your facts Tell your story Ask for other’s pathsTalk TentativelyEncourage Testing(what to do)(how to do it)
26 In ConclusionWhen stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions run strong:Stay in DialogueMake it SafeUse ContrastingTell the Whole StorySTATE your path
27 About the Book New York Times Best Seller Authors: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al SwitzerPaperback, 230 pages$16.95 at BordersInformation available online at